Outsourcing Insanity

I know that outsourcing things to India is all the rage in the world today and how the world is getting to be flat (thanks, Tom Friedman, what would we do without your wisdom) but this is getting a bit ridiculous. Apparently Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, wants to outsource the idea of how the legal system should be run in a democratic state to India. His idea is that the state should recognize sharia, the Islamic legal system, for those who profess Islam in the UK. India discriminates among its citizens based on their professed beliefs and Mr Williams clearly considers it to be an excellent model to follow.
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The Global Web

Ever wonder what it takes to make it possible for you to visit gazillions of websites? I suppose we wonder only when there is a disturbance in the web, as it happened a few days ago when five undersea fiberoptic cables mysteriously snapped and some parts of Middle East and India were affected. So I did a little futzing around the web and found a pretty good write up on one cable system — the FLAG: the Fiberoptic Link Across the Globe. The report is really really long and really really informative. It is also old — written in 1996, when FLAG was still being laid. Go read the report Mother Earth Mother Board. It makes great weekend reading.

Here’s a contemporary map of the amazing physical world wide web which underlies the digital world wide web.

[Click on the image above to see an enlarged version.]

Here are some fun facts taken from the above image.

* The vast majority of the world’s communications are not carried by satellites but an altogether older technology: cables under the earth’s oceans. As a ship accidentally wipes out Asia’s net access, this map shows how we rely on collections of wires less than 10 cm in diameter to link us all together.

* The first intercontinental telephony submarine cable system, TAT-1, connected N . America to Europe in 1958 and had an initial capacity of 640 kilo bytes per second (kBps). Today that is about 7 trillion Bps — a 10 million time increase.

* SeaMeWe-3 is 39,000 kms long

* Southern Cross is 30,500 kms

* China-US is 30,500 kms

* FLAG Europe-Asia 28,000 kms

* South America-1 25,000 kms